Below is our recent interview with Maureen Polo, General Manager Brand Studio at Fullscreen:
Q: Can you tell us something more about the company and what you do?
A: I am GM of the Brand Studio at Fullscreen, a next generation content company that helps brands influence culture, grow their audiences, and drive results. My teams are responsible for helping brands understand and harness the power of social media to develop meaningful connections with consumers through relevant, cross-platform storytelling.
Q: What types of services do you provide to your clients?
A: Fullscreen is a leader in social-first entertainment experiences, serving talent and brands through creative, strategy, and marketing that enables growth, engagement, and monetization of their audiences. Through our expertise in creative and entertainment, access to original data, and proprietary technology, we help the biggest talent and brands in the world build powerful, engaged audiences — especially younger generations that gravitate toward social media and are increasingly hard to reach by TV and traditional media.
Q: You’ve recently shared findings from your inaugural Culture Report; what exactly did you find out?
A: We looked at cultural trends driven by the overuse of social media seen among Millennials and Gen Zs (18-34-year-olds), exploring how overindulgence in social and digital has transformed our relationship with ourselves, other humans, and the world around us.
The results have a real impact on how brands and marketers should be interacting with these audiences – by prioritizing real connection and community. It is absolutely necessary in today’s social-first world for brands to be honest in every interaction and make a positive impact on the audience they are trying to reach. Consider the ways that 18-34-year-olds are already shifting their digital behavior:
● Curated online images from brands and influencers are constantly showing edited and filtered photos, leading to negative feelings and self-confidence issues.
- Less than half (39%) are confident in their appearance
- 41% agree “I wish there weren’t any photo-editing apps”
- 43% agree marketing from beauty brands makes them feel worse about themselves
● Mystical-driven culture is becoming a major source of influence for younger generations on everything from purchasing power to acceptance of different beliefs.
- 43% would make a big life decision based on a horoscope/tarot card reading
- 41% agree “People can believe in religion, spirituality, and occult practices all at the same time”
- Over a quarter of millennials agree that “horoscopes and astrology influence my purchasing decisions”
● Younger audiences are ditching dating apps and turning to dating IRL.
- The majority of 18-34-year-olds are now going old school to meet a significant other, with 76 percent interested in going to an event meant for singles to meet other singles
- 61% would rather be single and leaving it up to fate than be single and swiping
- 58% agree “I want to delete my dating apps, but I feel like I can’t because it will take me out of the dating pool”
- 61% think it is realistic to find a partner IRL
Q: Social media users are increasingly seeking to separate themselves from their addictions, but what makes them hooked?
A: The instant gratification of getting a like or comment is really addicting – but it’s also taking a toll on people’s well-being. 83 percent feel that their mood is impacted by the number of likes, comments, or shares they receive on social content, and 54 percent think being constantly connected to their devices worsens their well-being.
What keeps users hooked is the fact that many times, people feel as if their digital self is a bigger part of their identity then their offline self. 32 percent agree “If I took a break from social media, I would feel lost or like a part of me was missing,” while 45 percent agree “I’m not sure who I would be in real life if I didn’t have social media.” Nearly one-in-three (26%) agree “I like my social media self more than I like my real self.”
We’re now over-seeking validation on the filtered, “perfect” lives that are carefully curated and maintained online. As consumers focus more on self-care and showing their authentic selves on social, brands must follow suit and share the same realness in return.
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Q: Who are your partners?
A: We work with brands across a variety of industries, from CPG to entertainment brands, including American Eagle, AT&T, Ikea, Mattel, NBCU, Paramount Pictures, Revlon, Best Buy, Topgolf, and more.
Q: What does the future hold? Where is the company headed?
A: We continue to evolve our business to help brands meet their audiences on platforms where they naturally spend time. In the near future, that means helping brands incorporate technology such as AR and VR into their campaigns to reach new audiences, or optimizing clients’ content for under-utilized platforms like LinkedIn, where we’re seeing a huge opportunity for engagement. We’re also providing clients with tangible metrics and ROI that prove the success of social campaigns offline, something the industry has long struggled with. At Fullscreen, we believe in the near future the only advertising that will drive results will be advertising that builds trust and behaves like entertainment, and we are set up to be the company to help brands future-proof their marketing efforts.